A Green Alternative to Strip Mining in My Collage for LMAC #102

in Let's Make a Collagelast year (edited)

shaka 203 oxen20.png

There were strong reactions to @shaka's picture this week. That is what a photographer hopes for. It seems many people did not like the scene depicted in the photo: earth ravaged by construction equipment.

Here is @shaka's brilliant, effective image:

yB15rgL - Imgur.jpg

I looked at the construction site, and the gouged cliff. I wasn't having any fun with that, so I considered the background. Ah, there! That was better. Green valleys and hills. I moved a couple of buildings from the construction site and placed them in the verdant area of the picture. Then I went to work and had great fun. I don't compete in the contest. I just love making these collages.

I decided to make my scene 'green' in more ways than one. Windmills, solar panels, a water mill, and oxen. All of these provide energy (to do work) without the use of fossil fuels. The oxen have the added benefit of being fertilizer factories (manure).

The pond is clean. Turtles can float without a worry. Fish flourish. Whoever owns this land, I promise, will never sell or lease it to someone that wants to strip mine.

Some Information About Strip Mining

I recall my childhood home. A beautiful, bucolic, peaceful view I could see from my bedroom window was destroyed suddenly one day by a strip miner. A grassy knoll that had been part of my life was dug up and carried off for the gravel that resided beneath the grass. Ever since that day, strip mining for me has been one of the cardinal sins.

A website called Future Market Insights suggests that strip mining is 'safer' than other methods of extracting resources from the earth. However, the site admits, "from an environmental perspective, surface mining tends to have an extensive and more prominent impact on the surrounding environment." In the article, the authors refer to strip mining as 'surface mining.'

Strip Mining in Monterey, Fulton County, GA USA, (1973)
strip mining.jpg
Image credit: Arthur Greenberg, US National Archives. Public domain. The caption under this picture reads: "After land has been stripped, the cut often fills with water from underground springs and rain. Since all topsoil is removed, the stripped land remains barren."

Another website, Environment, describes not only the harm done by strip mining (also called open cast and mountaintop mining), but explains that efforts to reclaim stripped land are usually not successful. The website asserts that 40% of coal mines in the world are strip mines. In Australia, that percentage rises to 80%.

Mining for Gold: Strip Mine in Ravenswood, Queensland, AU
Strip mine Ravenswood,_Queensland_-_Gold_Mine_2  Rob and Stephanie Levy from Townsville, Australia 2.0.jpg
Image credit: Rob and Stephanie Levey from Townsville, Australia. Used under CC 2.0 generic license.

Strip mining destroys trees, plants, habitats, topsoil. The destruction of topsoil, and everything that holds it together, leads to erosion, and loss of agricultural land. Efforts at land reclamation have a poor record because the soil is so severely damaged. The website Environment (cited above) reports that in the U.S. state of Montana, reclamation attempts were successful 20% to 30% of the time. In Colorado attempts were successful only 10% of the time.

According to Environment, in 2004 strip mining in China affected 3.2 million hectares of land. Reclamation was successful 10-12% of the time.

Some other effects of strip mining (Information from Environment): Silt and sediment wash into waterways, hurt fish and plant life, lead to flooding. Chemicals pollute groundwater and watersheds. Dust from the mining pollutes the air.

Why do miners favor strip mining? Because it is more profitable than underground mining. It requires less labor and yields more mineral.

What Can We Do?
All mining damages the environment. Maybe we should look at my collage again and think of ways to limit our use of resources so the need for mining is, if not eliminated, at least greatly reduced. That would be a good beginning.

My Collage

As I explained earlier in this blog, I didn't want to spend time with the construction scene and stripped earth. It turned out that I made a good decision. My collage was a restful place to let my imagination roam. Creating this image actually took many hours. I added a canvas filter and border from Gimp because I wanted to conjure the impression of a painting.

To make the collage, I used only #LIL images and my own resources. Great thanks to the these #LMAC artists for their #LIL pictures:
@renata96: Waterfall
@muelli: Ox, Solar Panels
@quantumg: Mill House
@donroberts: Wheel

Anyone on Hive can borrow images from the library. And please, everyone, contribute pictures. This library is a vital resource for the Hive community.

Join us!
Have you, my readers, tried your hand at playing with one of @shaka's pictures? That's how I view the collage exercise, creative play. In addition to the fun, there are prizes. Check out this week's contest announcement for details.
You can stop in the LMAC Discord channel to say hello and ask questions. It's a friendly place.

Thank you
Thank you @shaka for giving so many people an opportunity to create and to participate in this wonderful community, part of the larger Hive community. Thank you to all members of LMAC for helping to make this a dynamic place. And thank you, readers, for reading my blog.


Mining and strip mining are necessary as soon as we account for the way we live. Note that I didn't say this was good. I only said that resources are necessary, and these resources need to be gathered in one way or the other. In order to reduce the impact of the mining industry, we probably need to rely less on resources. In other words, we need to reduce the demand. But these resources are needed, e.g, for technologies that we use in our everyday life.

In short, this is an open question (and interesting debate). I have no strong opinion, personally. I think extracting resources is necessary but maybe there are other ways (possibly more expensive) a bit better for the surroundings.

as soon as we account for the way we live

There's the rub.

we probably need to rely less on resources

Of course this is not an 'easy' issue. There are so many aspects to it. One is consumption. If all of us--everyone, including industry--just consumed less, we would need less. One way to do this would be to increase the efficiency of those things that work for us (energy-consuming) instruments.

Something that irks me is the way we assess cost of a project. People who extract resources from the earth think about labor and equipment. I think the environmental cost should be theirs to bear. That includes impact on community health. A better, fairer way of looking at cost. Mining projects would be managed differently if this were true.

You are right. This is complicated.

I love it when I find a comment from you. I know how busy you are and I am truly honored.

Yes, all of this is not easy. I am somehow relieved that ecology and environment is getting more and more important. However, all of this does not move fast enough and we may hit a wall very soon. It is a good moment to mention the 2021 Physics Nobel prize about climate modelling. This is kind of old physics, predicted in the 1960s.... and the lessons are still not fully learned :(

I love it when I find a comment from you. I know how busy you are and I am truly honored.

Thank you! it is my pleasure!

A lovely peaceful image with the windmills and waterwheel, A.G. Your collage shows the idyllic life with greenery, flowers and grazing animals.

The environmental issues are being tossed around by politicians but is it to little too late? It is dire~will we destroy the earth to the point future generations will have to relocate on mars or find another planet that will support life?

The facts you presented on Strip mining shows how much damage is left behind and no one tales responsibility. It is rape of the land.

Blessings my friend,🙏

Hello my friend @redheadpei. We country girls...our hearts always go home, don't they?

I had a great time imagining this place. I felt like Grandma Moses making one of her highly detailed pastoral scenes.

Maybe it's too late for the environment...but it can't be. I notice every time I write an environmental post I get a lot of feedback. People are ready for change. People are worried. Let's hope we can bring about the change that's needed in time.

I hope you are having a wonderful December and are well during this busy season. Very warm regards and affection....

Very creative use for the Ferris wheel! I almost missed it! Great collage!

Thank you! I was so happy to find that wheel. I appreciate it. I am determined to use only LIL resources or my own images. If you didn't have the wheel I was going to have to try and draw one. Have you ever seen my drawings?😅

I'm glad you liked the collage. Nothing snazzy just simple me having fun.

@shaka's image was challenging to create something beautiful out of it, hence effective as you mentioned.

Focusing on the green aspect was one of the ideas I had when I was making mine, I didn't go with it. But I'm glad someone did!!

Thanks for the little backstory about mining and strip mining too, it was informative.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I don't compete in the contest so I really just want to enjoy myself and at the same time make the best collage I can come up with. This was relaxing. I put each of the flowers on individually. Spent a lot of time in that green landscape :)

Thanks for your kind words.

Hello, excellent friend, your collage, brings us a message of reflection on the damage that mining has caused affecting animals, plants, and the planet in general. Here in Venezuela mining is exploited a lot, it is an area where transnational companies have been given the power to destroy nature.

Hello my friend. I know it's not fair that transnationals take your precious resources and then leave blight behind. But that is the case all over the world. It never made sense to me that natural resources --Natural resources could be taken by businesses and sold for profit. These resources are products of nature. They belong to all of us. I don't understand how a company can claim them.

I hope they don't go near your wonderful hiking trail in the mountains.

Thank you for stopping by and for your kind comment.

Es un sitio precioso, querida @agmoore. Todo en él me gusta. Me gusta la energía eólica y me gusta la energía solar. Me gusta toda esa agua clara y la abundancia de plantas y animales. Esta mulefa viviría con gusto allí.

Recibe un enorme abrazo.

Thank you my friend, @adncabrera. I spent a lot of time simply arranging flowers and trees. It was great fun, as though I was landscaping a real garden. And yes, I would love to be there.

I appreciate your visit and your support. Be well, and peaceful my friend. Very warm regards...

Thanks for your contribution to the STEMsocial community. Feel free to join us on discord to get to know the rest of us!

Please consider delegating to the @stemsocial account (80% of the curation rewards are returned).

Please consider including @stemsocial as a beneficiary to get a stronger support. 

Thank you very much! I am grateful for your support.

You managed to separate the hostile environment that is destroying the planet from the friendly environment that manages to make use of wind energy. Bravo!

Thank you very much. If I'm going to spend hours (and I do) with a collage, I want that to be a pleasant experience. This was!!

I appreciate that you reblogged the post. Have a great evening.

Hello @agmoore beautiful and apasible collage. Perfect harmony. I like to visit your posts very much. Always loaded with science. Congratulations.

I appreciate your kind comment and your visit, @marilour. We may not be able to control much in the world, but we can control where I imagination wanders. This was a nice place to spend my time.

Hope you well, and peaceful.

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This is very kind of you, and much appreciated. To be recognized by the Creative Tribe...that's an honor.